Administrative Rule 40 - ACCESS TO AUDIOTAPESRECORDINGS OF
PROCEEDINGS IN DISTRICT COURT - STATUS OF RECORDING
SECTION 1. Authority
Under Article VI, SectionN.D. Const. Art. VI, § 3 of the North Dakota Constitution, the supreme
court has the authority to establish policies and procedures to be followed by all courts of the state.
The court also has specific authority to establish policies relating to court records under N.D.C.C.
§ 27-02-05.2, NDCC.
SECTION 2. Public Access to AudiotapesRecording - Copies - On-site Access
1. The following persons have access to and may obtain copies of a recording of trial court
a. parties to an action and their attorneys, if any, unless access is restricted by order of the court; and
b. federal, state, and local officials, or their agents, examining the recording in the exercise of their
official duties and powers.
1.2. Copies of the audiotapeda recording of trial court proceedings made under this rule may be
purchased by the public unless the proceeding is closed or confidential, or the judge has ordered that
all or part of the recording not be available because:
a. it would materially interfere with a party's right to fair trial;
b. a witness or party has objected and shown good cause why it should not be available;
c. it includes testimony of an adult victim or witness in a prosecution under ChapterN.D.C.C.
ch 12.1-20, N.D.C.C., or for charges in which an offense under that chapter is an included offense
or an essential element of the charge, unless the victim or witness consents;
d. it includes testimony of a juvenile victim or witness in a proceeding in which illegal sexual
activity is an element of the evidence; or
e. it includes testimony of undercover agents or relocated witnesses.; or
f. it includes by testimony or other comment information protected under N.D.R.Ct. 3.4(a).
3. A person seeking to limit access to or availability of a recording under Section 2(2)(a) or (b) must
submit a written motion to the court. The person shall give notice of the motion to all parties to the
proceedings. The court may require the person to give notice of the motion to any other persons or
entities identified in the recording.
4. If suitable, supervised accommodations are available, a member of the public requesting access
to a recording of trial court proceedings may listen to the recording in a dedicated area, unless access
is restricted by order of the court. The recording may not be copied or recorded by any electronic or
2.5. The Administrative Council of Presiding Judges shall establish procedures to ensure appropriate
access to audiotapesrecordings.
3.6.Video or electronic media coverage, if granted, is governed by Administrative Rule 21.
SECTION 3. Status of Recording
Unless otherwise provided by court rule, the transcript of the proceeding, and not a recording
provided under this Rule, is the official record of the proceeding.
Dated at Bismarck, North Dakota, October 23, 1996
Gerald W. VandeWalle, Chief Justice
Herbert L. Meschke, Justice
William A. Neumann, Justice
Dale V. Sandstrom, Justice
Mary Muehlen Maring, Justice
Adopted effective January 17, 1996, subject to comment; final adoption effective March 6, 1996;
amended effective January 1, 1997; amended effective ______________.